Disclaimer- I don't own Naruto.
Author's note: As some of you may know, this story isn't new. I re-wrote this chapter because I hated the original. The first draft was originally planned to be a oneshot, but I thought it had some potential to continue. That, combined with some enthusiastic reviews (Thank you reviewers), encouraged me to remake this and to improve it. I hope it's better this time around.
Chapter 1- The Snowball Fight
It started snowing sometime in the early hours of the night of mid December.
In the months following Orochimaru's death, Konoha had become a far more peaceful place. Sasuke and Sakura had started going out, even with Naruto's blessing. After Naruto had to bat Sasuke out of the way to get to Orochimaru, Sakura cried over his mangled form. She used every bit of her chakra to heal him. When he woke up his head was laying in her lap while she cried with joy. Somehow, that was enough to quell the raging insanity and lust for power he had acquired while training under Orochimaru. After they had gotten back to Konoha, Sasuke had finally given in to Sakura's requests for a date. Naruto had been offered the position of Hokage for Orochimaru's defeat, which he accepted in a fraction of a second. All of the other Genin had been promoted to Chunnin, except for Shikamaru and Neji, who had become Jounin.
The citizens of Konoha awoke to a blanket of snow covering the ground, and the snow was still falling. Snowfall in Konoha didn't happen often or in great quantities, so when more than two feet fell, everyone felt more like celebrating. Children started snowball fights with each other and built snowmen with their parents. The adults either spent time with their children or relaxed at home.
As Naruto sat in his office looking out his window later that day, he came to a decision. "Asuna-chan," he called his secretary. An attractive brunette with shoulder length hair wearing a grey business jacket with a matching skirt turned from her filing and responded with a cheerful "Hai, Hokage-sama?"
"Take the rest of the day off. Go have some fun."
"But Hokage-sama…" she started to protest. If the work didn't get done then the Hokage's office ran the risk of falling behind and getting buried in paperwork, a nightmare that no one wanted to deal with.
"It's too nice a day to spend it working inside."
"But Hokage-sama, I still have a lot of filing to do."
"Don't worry, I'll finish it." Naruto had really matured over the years. He was now in his early twenties, along with the rest of his friends, but the responsibility as Hokage forced him to grow up faster than the rest of them. That's why when Naruto found a good excuse to relax and hang out with his friends, he took it, but only when he wasn't too far behind in his work. "Besides, don't you have a boyfriend?"
"Then go surprise him. I'm sure he'll like it."
Asuna smiled at him sweetly and gave him a deep bow. "Arigato, Hokage-sama." She put the file she had in her hand on a pile with the others and walked out the door after giving another bow. Asuna was a sweet girl. Naruto was glad to work with someone so dedicated.
Naruto turned to the folders that laid in large piles in front of the filing cabinets. There were probably a hundred files to be stored in the three cabinets, each with three drawers. Too much work for one person to do. With a grin, Naruto formed a hand sign and called out "Kage Bushin no Jutsu". Suddenly there were eight Narutos, each one taking a file and stuffing them into the correct drawer.
It would have taken one person about an hour to do it correctly. Naruto finished it in five minutes. After he checked to make sure everything was in order he pulled out his cell phone and called up each of is old friends.
Later, Naruto met all his old friends at Training Grounds 9. It was mostly flat terrain, surrounded by woods, but a small section of land without trees dipped down into a small hill; perfect for sledding short distances.
Naruto was the last to arrive. All the others were standing in a circle, talking while they waited for him. Lee was jogging in place while Tenten and Neji were talking with each other…quietly. Ino was leaning on Shikamaru, who was staring up at the sky, pretending he was bored. Chouji was eating a bag of chips. Kiba had a pair of snowboards slung over his back, and he was busy talking with Shino. Akamaru was standing next to Kiba, wearing a sweater Kiba's sister made him wear. Sasuke and Sakura were standing quietly hand in hand with Sakura leaning on Sasuke's shoulder with her eyes closed. Hinata was standing near Kiba and Shino. She had her hands in her coat pocket and was staring down at the ground. Her father didn't approve of her skipping out on her much needed training. He liked it even less when he found out that Naruto had orchestrated the whole thing, but considering Naruto's new seat of power, Hiashi didn't dare argue against it. His family would lose too much respect from rejecting a decision made by the Hokage, even if the matter was trivial.
Everyone turned to see Naruto walking up to them grinning like always. "You're late, Hokage-sama." Sasuke said sarcastically. This caused everyone to laugh a little bit. Naruto just scratched the back of his head. "Sorry."
"It's been awhile since we've all been together like this." Ino said.
"That's exactly why I called you all out here." Naruto said. "I thought that a nice get together would be in order."
"So what's planned?" Shikamaru asked. Naruto had just called everyone up and told them to meet at Training Grounds 9. He didn't give them any specifics.
"I was thinking we could fight an old fashioned snowball fight." Naruto answered. He got a series of approving answers.
"YOSH! Let us enjoy a fight together in the springtime of youth!"
"How about a free barbeque for the winner?"
"Can we use weapons?"
"No." Naruto said. "No weapons. No techniques. No chakra at all. Just your wits and raw ability."
"What if we didn't want to fight?" Shino asked.
"Yeah! I came here to relax." Kiba backed up Shino. He swung the snowboards off of his shoulder and rested them on the ground to emphasize his point. "Training's a bitch."
"Oh. I, uh…I didn't think about that." Naruto said as he sweatdropped.
"Same dobe Naruto." Sasuke whispered under his breath so that only Sakura could hear him. She giggled in response.
"Okay, okay." Naruto said. "If you don't want to be in the snowball fight, then you can go snowboarding with Kiba and Shino over there." Naruto pointed over to the hillside on the side of the training grounds. It wasn't very big or steep, but if they used their chakra to accelerate themselves, it wouldn't matter.
Kiba and Shino were the only ones to walk where Naruto had pointed. Everyone else stayed back so they could fight.
"This is everyone who wants to be in the snowball fight?" Naruto asked for clarity. He got several nods in response.
Naruto bent down and scooped up a handful of snow and molded it into a ball. "Then let's get started."
They opened into an old fashion snowball fight. Everyone scooped snow as fast as they could and threw it at whatever target they could. Snowballs flew everywhere. As Naruto ran for cover, he noticed that some of the others had formed teams. Sasuke and Sakura were holding their own as they ran a fighting retreat and backed closer to the woods, where they started to build a small fort. Lee ran zigzags everywhere distracting his opponents while Neji and Tenten threw snowballs at whoever they could. Ino, Shikamaru and Chouji hid behind a tree while Shikamaru came up with a strategy to beat the others. Kiba and Shino strapped the snowboards to their feet and soared across the hillside, with Akamaru in close pursuit. Since the hill wasn't that big, they used their chakra to speed themselves along which resulted in some enthusiastic barks from Akamaru. That left Naruto and Hinata.
Hinata was hiding behind a tree, too nervous to attack anyone. Naruto had jumped and dodged every snowball he could and just barely avoided getting hit. He ran to the edge of the forest and hid behind a tree. The same tree Hinata was hiding behind. Naruto looked to his left. "Hey Hinata-chan!"
"N-Naruto-kun." She hadn't even noticed him before. Her face reddened at the very sight of him.
Elsewhere in the woods, Sasuke and Sakura were hiding behind a small snow wall they made. Sasuke was looking over the top of the wall. The snowballs had stopped flying. Now it was the calm in the midst of battle. He sat with his back against the wall and let out a breath of relief. Sakura sat a few feet away from him looking on with hungry eyes. Now that she and Sasuke were alone…
Sasuke kept his back against the wall and faced the battlefield. "Alright Sakura. I'll go out and distract them with a volley of snowballs. I'll need you to-" he stopped and turned to see a snowball coming right at him. He caught it in his hand, but it wasn't compacted, so the snowball exploded in his hand. He looked over and saw Sakura laughing her head off.
"You are so dead." Sasuke said with a smirk. He picked up some snow and rolled it into a ball as Sakura started to run deeper into the woods, still laughing. He threw snowball after snowball at her, each one forcing her down a small deer trail. When they were deep enough in the woods, Sasuke stopped throwing snowballs and started forming hand seals. "Ice Wall no Jutsu" he said. A sheet of ice grew out of the ground in front of Sakura. She skidded to a stop, turned around, and pressed herself against the newly formed barrier. Sasuke ran up and put his hands on either side of her, blocking any chance she had of escaping.
"Hey, we weren't supposed to use chakra." Sakura said.
"I wasn't listening." Sasuke said softly. He had his forehead pressed against hers as he took her in a hug while looking deep into her eyes. She stared back into his eyes and returned the hug. Their faces came closer to each other until their lips met in a soft, passionate kiss.
"C'mon genius boy! Think of something!"
Ino continued to prod Shikamaru, as if it helped him think faster. In truth, Shikamaru already had a plan. He just found some level of entertainment in teasing the ever-so-impatient Ino by making her wait.
"Okay." he said finally. "I have an idea."
"What is it?" Ino asked impatiently.
"First, we'll need more snow and some thick branches."
"We can use the branches from this tree, can't we?" Chouji asked.
"No. I'll need all these branches the way they are right now for later. We need to get branches from the forest over there." Shikamaru said as he pointed into the woods where Sakura and Sasuke . "The fewer trips we take, the better." Shikamaru turned to his best friend and spoke sternly. "Chouji, you're the strongest one here. We need you to gather as many branches as you can. Make sure they're at least five inches thick."
"Al right." he said proudly. "Leave it to me." Chouji took off into the nearby woods as fast as he could run.
"We need a lot Chouji!" Shikamaru called out to him.
"Right." the chubby ninja called back.
"Okay. What's part two?" Ino asked with crossed arms.
"What part two?" Shikamaru said.
"What do you mean 'What part two'?" Ino said, her voice a mixture of confusion and irritation. "Why did you have Chouji run off to get branches like that?"
Shikamaru was wearing a proud smirk as we stepped closer to her. It was the smirk he always had on his face when one of his plans went exactly as he planned.
"Chouji's gone and we're all alone here." Ino's eyebrow raised as she realized just what Shikamaru's plan entailed. It would take Chouji a long time to drag back branches that thick, or for that matter to even find them. She closed her eyes as they came closer for a kiss.
Ino and Shikamaru both jumped back as Chouji ran back to the tree. He skidded to a stop at the base of the tree next to his teammates.
"You said the branches had to be five inches across, right?"
"Alright. I thought you might have said four inches." With that, Chouji turned back to the forest.
Not too far off, Neji's group saw Chouji run into the woods from their spot on the edge of the hillside. They were standing together over a pile of snowballs. They were using a triangle formation so that they could have all sides covered.
"They're definitely planning something."
"They have Shikamaru with them. Of course they're planning something."
"My friends! Perhaps we should try to stop them before their youthful plan can begin."
"Lee," Neji asked. "Why is everything youthful to you?"
"Look!" Tenten interrupted. "Chouji's coming back."
Chouji ran back to the tree for a second, then turned back and ran into the woods again.
"What are they planning?" Neji thought aloud.
There was a twinkle in Tenten's eye as she thought of an idea. "We should send Lee out and keep an eye on Chouji." she suggested.
"Me?" Lee asked as he pointed to himself.
"That's a good idea." Neji agreed. "You're the fastest one here Lee. You shouldn't have any trouble catching up to him."
"Very well." Lee said. "Then I will defeat Chouji and return as quickly as I can."
"No." Neji disagreed.
"No?" came the confused response from Lee.
"No?" came equally confused, and subtly disappointed, voice of Tenten.
"Lee, you should come back after you've taken out Sasuke and Sakura as well." Neji explained. "Then, on your way back, take out Shikamaru and Ino."
"Good thinking." Tenten said. She knew that that would keep Lee away for some time.
"Who else is playing?" Lee asked.
"Naruto and Hinata." Neji answered. "They're in the woods to the left somewhere and have probably teamed up."
"Lucky Hinata." Tenten remarked. Naruto was just about the only person who didn't know about Hinata's crush on him. Even the Sand siblings knew, and they lived all the way in Suna.
"Yosh! Wish me luck my friends!" Lee said. Without another word, he ran off after Chouji into the woods. Neji and Tenten stood back to back to make up for Lee's absence.
"And now we have some alone time." Tenten said sweetly.
"Is that why you said Lee should be the one to leave?" Neji teased. Neither of them turned around while they talked.
"That, and now I can tell you something."
"I want to see you tonight." Tenten whispered with a blush.
Neji just smiled. He and Tenten had been seeing each other for more than three months. Their "dates" usually involved Neji sneaking out late at night and spending most of the night alone with Tenten watching a movie or two, or eating a really late dinner together. But lately, they had been getting more intimate and Neji's visits usually lasted until the early morning, ending just before he had training. As long as Hiashi didn't know about it, they were safe to see each other. There was no way the head of the Hyuuga household would approve of them being together. Of course, the safest way to keep him from finding out was to never tell anyone about their relationship.
"Sure." Neji said as he smiled.
Deep in the woods, Chouji jumped from tree to tree and ran frantically across the forest floor, searching for the branches Shikamaru told him to find.
Chouji didn't understand why he had to find branches all the way out here just to win a snowball fight, but Shikamaru seemed pretty serious. Besides, Shikamaru had a way of coming up with the most unexpected solutions at times.
Chouji looked high and low for any branch that was the right size. He was beginning to think about giving up as he ran deeper into the woods, but a long branch laying on the ground in the distance caught his eye. He ran to it and did a rough estimate of its width. To Chouji's relief, it was just about the right size. He was about to pick it up and take it back to his teammates, when he heard a squeal from a short distance away. Since it might mean someone was in trouble, Chouji forgot about the branch and ran through the treetops check it out.
He didn't have to travel far. Chouji found the source of the noise laying on a small path in the distance. He wasn't sure of what he was watching at first, but he did a double take and saw that his first assumption was right. He stood, high in the trees, watching the show on the ground in disbelief.
"I've found you." came a voice from behind Chouji. The overweight ninja turned and saw Lee standing on the same branch in the tree as him. Lee was juggling a snowball in his hand.
"Prepare to be beaten." Lee proclaimed.
"Hold on." Chouji said in a hushed tone. He turned back to the spectacle on the ground.
"What?" said Lee. He expected Chouji to run for it. Instead, Lee was being completely ignored
"What is it?" Lee asked.
Chouji pointed to a spot in the distance. Lee's eyes widened as he saw Sasuke and Sakura laying on the ground, vigorously making out.
"NOOOO!!!" Lee screamed. "SAKURA-CHAAAANNN!!!"
Even though Sasuke and Sakura did nothing to hide their relationship with each other, Lee never accepted it. Seeing what he was seeing was like a horrific reality shock to him. He fell off of the branch and landed in the snow twenty feet below. He rolled around in emotional pain as the love of his life was busy kissing someone else.
Chouji gently kicked some snow from the branch and it landed on the now crying Lee, making Lee the first one out of the game. Chouji jumped out of the tree and tried to remember where he saw that branch.
"What was that?" Sakura asked as she broke a kiss with Sasuke. She pushed herself up so that she could see around better.
"What was what?" Sasuke asked. He was so focused on Sakura that he didn't notice anything other than her.
"I thought I heard someone call my name."
"Must have been the wind." Sasuke explained.
"Good enough for me." she said as she pounced on Sasuke again and started exploring the inside of his mouth with her tongue.
Naruto was making a plan on how to win the fight. Hinata had agreed to be on his team, albeit with a lot of blushing. Naruto looked out at the field. Chouji had run off into the woods for a second time, leaving the rest of Shikamaru's team hiding behind their tree. Neji's team was standing on the edge of the hill with a big pile of snowballs ready to be thrown standing in a triangle formation, guarding all sides. Sasuke and Sakura were nowhere in sight.
Suddenly, Naruto saw Lee break off from Neji and Tenten, following Chouji into the woods. Naruto realized that if he and Hinata could get down the hill, they could probably take out Neji's entire group in one go.
"H-hai?" She had been distracted by her thoughts and had forgotten what was going on.
"Lee's gone, so why don't we rush down the hill and come up behind Neji and Tenten?"
"Um…sure. That could work."
"Alright. Just follow me." With that, he took off deeper into the woods with Hinata close behind him. Naruto led the way through the woods until they were far enough away so that no one could see them come out of the woods. Naruto turned to make sure that Hinata was still following, then, seeing that she was, he snuck out of the woods.
Into Kiba's snowboarding path.
"Look out!" Kiba yelled as he pushed his snowboard all over the hill with his chakra.
Naruto jumped back into the woods, just avoiding getting hit by Kiba, but he lost his footing and started to roll down the hill. "Naruto-kun!" Hinata yelled, reaching for him. Unfortunately, she missed his hand and Naruto went rolling down the hill anyway. To make matters worse, Hinata lost her balance when she reached for him and was sent tumbling after him. Naruto landed on his back. He had just enough time to brace himself when Hinata fell on her stomach.
Right on top of him.
Hinata pushed herself up and opened her eyes to see that she was straddling Naruto. Her face went red in an instant. "Hinata-chan, are you okay?" he asked. Hinata was too embarrassed to move or even speak. She just laid on top him, eyes wide and mouth agape, shaking nervously.
Naruto saw her shaking pretty badly.
"Are you two alright?"
Naruto and Hinata turned to see Kiba coming up on his sled. Hinata finally realized what position she was in and quickly jumped off of Naruto, folding her hands in between her knees as she sat in the snow. "G-g-gomen-nasai!" Hinata apologized. "We're fine." Naruto answered. "I just think Hinata's a little cold." Hinata turned at hearing her name being said. "N-no, I'm okay." she said quietly.
"But your face is all red." Naruto put his hand on Hinata's forehead. She froze. Naruto-kun is touching me. (A/N: Not like that you perverts.)
"You're a little warm Hinata-chan."
"Maybe you should call it a day." Kiba offered.
"I-I'm fine." she protested.
"Maybe you are," Naruto said. "But it's my job as Hokage to make sure that everyone in the village is safe and healthy." Hinata just looked down at her knees, still red. "Why don't you come back to my house? I have hot chocolate."
Hinata stopped breathing. A chance to be inside Naruto's house? She couldn't believe her luck. She might even get a chance to finally tell him how she felt.
"Hello? Hinata-chan?" Naruto asked as he waved a hand in front of her face.
"Alright then," he said offering his hand with a smile. Hinata took his hand carefully and he helped her up.
"Let's get going." Naruto said as he led the way out of the training grounds.
There we go! First chapter done! I'll update as soon as I can, but with school and another big story I'm working on, updates may take awhile. I'll work as fast as I can though. ;D Also, if anyone knows any decent online English to Japanese translation site, it would really help if you told me.